Archive for 'News and Events'
October is American Archives Month! We’re celebrating the work of archivists and the importance of archives with a series of blog posts about the Presidential libraries. The records created by Presidents while in office will become part of the National Archives, and eventually will be used by researchers. Here’s how it happens!
Today’s post comes from Emily Niekrasz, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.
In the 1960s, if one called the Harry S. Truman Library, the former President himself may have answered.
Although Truman was apprehensive about constructing a “shrine” to himself—especially while he was still living—he understood the importance of preserving his Presidential papers for future scholars and administrations.
However, because the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library was the only precedent, the Presidential Libraries Act was still not law. The slow process of construction and planning a library meant that Truman’s papers were without a permanent home for years.
In January 1953, most of Truman’s papers were moved in 12 trucks from Washington, DC, to the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, MO, where the archival process of sorting through his papers began.
Even after the move, however, the President and First Lady Bess Truman continued to be overwhelmed by the volume of records.… [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on October 13, 2015, under - Presidents, American Archives Month, National Archives History, News and Events.
Tags: Bess Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, Harry Truman, harry truman letters
Pope Francis’s visit this September marks the 10th time a Pope has visited the United States.
Since the Federal Government is heavily involved in a papal visit, and the National Archives holds the records of the Federal Government, we have documents related to all these events.
The first Pope to visit the United States was Pope Paul VI, who met with President Lyndon Johnson at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. This was Paul VI’s only visit to the United States.
Nearly 15 years passed before another papal visit. In 1979, Pope John Paul II came to the United States and became the first Pope to visit the White House. Pope John Paul II visited the United States a total seven of times.
Today’s post comes from Rebecca Brenner, an intern in the History Office at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Fifty years ago on October 3, 1965, at the base of the Statue of Liberty, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965 into law.
The act was an important milestone in American immigration history. It was a significant improvement from the National Origins Act of 1924, which barred Asian immigrants, limited Latin American immigrants, and established rigid immigration quotas for European countries.
These quotas, established in an era of post–World War I isolationism and xenophobia, lasted from 1924 through 1965:
- Armenia: 124
- Australia: 121
- Austria: 785
- Belgium: 512
- Czechoslovakia: 3,073
- Estonia: 124
- France: 3,954
- Germany: 51,227
- Great Britain and Northern Ireland: 34,007
- Hungary: 473
- Irish Free State: 28,567
- Italy: 3,845
- Latvia: 142
- Lithuania: 344
- Netherlands: 1,648
- Norway: 6,453
- Poland: 5,962
- Russia: 2,248
- Sweden: 9,561
- Switzerland: 2,081
- Yugoslavia: 671
Aliens needed to apply for spots on the quota in their country of birth, regardless of where they and their family lived. Some quota waiting lists were a dozen years long, while others were not filled.
The Immigration Act of 1965 abolished this quota system and eliminated the formally racial character of immigration to the United States.
The act aimed … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on September 17, 2015, under - The 1960s, News and Events, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
Tags: exhibits, featured exhibits, immigration, Lyndon B. Johnson, naturalization, naturalization ceremony
Today’s post comes from Meagan Frenzer, graduate research intern for the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.
On display in the “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History” exhibit at the National Archives in Washington, DC, is a silver cocktail shaker and six cups that once belonged to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As Governor of New York and later, as President, Roosevelt used these items to mix drinks and entertain guests, even during Prohibition.
The sides and bottoms of the silver cocktail set, circa 1925, are adorned with a bamboo motif and Chinese characters. The items fit into a maroon leather box with blue velvet lining, though this item is not currently on display.
Senior Curator of “Spirited Republic” Bruce Bustard identified FDR’s cocktail set as one of his favorite items in the exhibit, due both to its elegance and historical richness. Bustard believes that this particular item best highlights the divide in American perceptions regarding alcohol.
The cocktail set represents this divide between those as close as husband and wife, or in this case, between President and First Lady.
For instance, President Roosevelt held a daily tradition, where he hosted an evening cocktail hour for his closest staff and friends called the “Children’s Hour.”
Roosevelt most likely used this cocktail set both … [ Read all ]
Opened in 1935, the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, was created to hold the nation’s most important and influential documents in American history.
The National Archives History Office has produced a new online exhibit on the National Archives Building, which is available in Google Cultural Institute.
In the 19th century, historians and elected officials began campaigning for a central archive to hold all of the Federal Government’s records. At that time, Federal records were in grave danger of permanent loss as a result of damage from improper housing.
Congress finally authorized the construction of the National Archives Building by passing the Public Buildings Act in 1926. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the legislation establishing the National Archives as an agency in 1934.
Occupying a unique position in Washington—halfway between the White House and the Capitol— the National Archives Building was designed by celebrated architect John Russell Pope.
At the building’s cornerstone ceremony in 1933, President Herbert Hoover declared:
“This temple of our history will be appropriately one of the most beautiful buildings in America, an expression of the American soul. It will be one of the most durable, an expression of the American character.”
The National Archives Building is an architectural … [ Read all ]